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megimoo
07-03-2009, 04:13 PM
Court winks at basic-rights assault; who's next?By Valerie Plame Wilson and Joe Wilson

(Plames lash out after being laughed out of court)


Last week, in an unsurprising but still disappointing decision, the Supreme Court denied the review of a lawsuit brought by Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson, ending the quest for redress of their constitutional rights. The Court's decision reflects the trend toward closing the door on any recourse for a citizen who has been injured by federal officials.

The Court's message is clear: federal officials can use their publicly funded positions to attack political adversaries without consequence.

In other words, if it can happen to a retired ambassador (appointed by a Republican administration) and a covert CIA officer, then it can happen to you no matter what your political persuasion.

In July 2006, the Wilsons sued former Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Richard Armitage for their efforts to destroy Valerie Wilson's career in retaliation for her husband exposing lies in President George W. Bush's State of the Union address concerning Iraq's alleged efforts to purchase uranium from Niger.

Wilson exercised his sacred First Amendment right of free speech. In retaliation and in clear violation of the law, top government officials then revealed Valerie Wilson was a secret operative for the CIA, thereby destroying her career, endangering the Wilson family and our national security.

In August 2008, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit for two troubling reasons, demonstrating a continued drift toward barring suits against federal officials, even when there are allegations of serious constitutional violations.

First, the court ruled the defendants could not be sued because the federal Privacy Act provides a remedy for invasions of privacy. This was startling given that the court recognized the act is inapplicable here because no information about Joe Wilson was leaked.

More importantly, the Privacy Act specifically does not apply to the offices of the president and vice president, meaning defendants Cheney, Libby, and Rove cannot be sued for violating this act. Thus, an inapplicable statute providing no remedy was the basis for barring constitutional claims.

The second ground for dismissal was even more astounding: the court said the lawsuit should be barred because it might lead to the disclosure of sensitive national security information ironic given the case arose because the defendants had already disclosed sensitive national security information (the identity of a covert CIA operations officer).

Irony aside, whether such information might be disclosed is merely speculative. Most of the evidence was made public during Libby's criminal trial and it is unlikely the Wilsons would need to release additional sensitive information to prove their case. There was no reason to dismiss the entire case now because in the future some sensitive information might be needed.

If a federal official violates the Constitution, the United States government generally cannot directly be sued for money damages and therefore, those seeking redress must sue individuals.

In 1971, after an individual was subjected to an abusive and illegal search, the Supreme Court held federal officials can be sued for money damages when they violate individuals' constitutional rights.

Unfortunately, in the ensuing years the Supreme Court has drastically cut back on the ability to sue federal officials, and the Court's refusal to hear the Wilsons' case cuts deeper into individuals' rights for the first time barring a suit based on an inapplicable statute.

It is sad that the Supreme Court would not hear this case and those who perpetrated this assault on the Wilsons' constitutional rights will never be required to explain their actions under oath or be held accountable. .

expat-pattaya
07-03-2009, 06:15 PM
My only problem with this article and the news it contains is this statement.

"" (the identity of a covert CIA operations officer)""

Plame was not a covert officer. SO far as I know she was an openly active member of the CIA working in America. So the complaint loses a lot of validity there. But of course the kool aid drinkers won't know that or care.

megimoo
07-03-2009, 09:09 PM
My only problem with this article and the news it contains is this statement.

"" (the identity of a covert CIA operations officer)""

Plame was not a covert officer. SO far as I know she was an openly active member of the CIA working in America. So the complaint loses a lot of validity there. But of course the kool aid drinkers won't know that or care.
The CIA is a closed shop as far as the outside world is concerned.Even the president is kept at arms length by the DCI .They are almost all hard core liberals who are in for life.

Every so often one of them goes 'off reservation ' and does something stupid and is exposed just like Plame.She was a very low level staff reader who at one time in the long gone past was assigned to a sensitive project in the UK .

Their sole 'Shtick' was to make President Bush look foolish and they failed .Joe Wilson and his bride are very small potatoes in the great scheme of things and should learn to keep their mouths shut but they are stupid so they babble on .